Local juice bar Jrink, which got its start seven years ago as a delivery service, is getting back to its roots to avoid layoffs for as long as possible while the new coronavirus outbreak shuts down most business in D.C.
While three of its four locations are closed — the Logan Circle store (1630 14th Street NW) is still open for takeout — Jrink is ramping up delivery and expanding its menu to reflect partnerships with other D.C. companies. So far, the list includes Whisked cookies, Small Planes Coffee, Wellfound Foods sandwiches, and Soupergirl.
“With COVID, closing most of our locations and watching friends’ businesses struggle, it felt only right to begin offering more products outside of juice,” Jrink founder Shizu Okusa says. “Many customers are working from home, businesses have the capacity, and we all want to keep our employees, so we need to drive volume.”
By next week, Jrink’s site will expand to include three more small businesses: Gordy’s Pickles, veggie chips from Snacklins, and Amazi Foods, a D.C. company that sells fruit snacks made in Uganda. Okusa says all the new partners are minority- or women-owned, and “honestly just good-hearted people.”
“The impact on our business is hard to put into words,” Soupergirl founder Sara Polon says. “However, watching the food community come together, innovate, and support each other has been so motivating. We’re so grateful for this new program, and we’re honored to be included.”
Okusa expects more partners to sign up and is open to accepting inquiries. She says Jrink’s Logan Circle location will also adopt a makeshift market.
“We’re pretty much one of the only local businesses left open [along 14th Street],” Okusa says. “We’ll begin offering [partner] products at that store, turning it into more of a grocery shop versus a juice bar, so people can continue to buy local.”
Both the Whole Foods and the Trader Joe’s in the neighborhood are still open.